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  • 01/06/2023 7:30 AM | Jennifer Phillips (Administrator)

    Writing a business bio can be a great way to introduce yourself and your company to potential clients, customers, and partners. Here are a few tips for writing a business bio at different lengths:


    Short bio (1-2 sentences)

    This is a very brief introduction to you and your business. You might include your name, the name of your business, and a quick summary of what you do.

    Example: "Hi, I'm John Doe, the owner of Doe Consulting. We specialize in helping small businesses grow through effective marketing strategies."


    Keep it short and sweet: A short bio should be no more than a few sentences and should focus on your most notable achievements and the value that you bring to your clients.


    Medium bio (1-2 paragraphs)

    This is a slightly longer bio that gives more detail about you and your business. You might include information about your background, your experience, and the services or products you offer.

    Example: "I'm Jane Smith, the founder of Smith & Associates. I have over 10 years of experience in the consulting industry, and I've helped dozens of businesses increase their profits and achieve their goals. At Smith & Associates, we offer a range of services, including market research, branding, and social media management, to help our clients succeed."


    Expand on your experience: A medium-length bio can be a paragraph or two and should provide more detail about your background and experience. You can also include information about your company's history and mission.


    Long bio (2+ paragraphs)

    This is a more in-depth bio that provides a comprehensive overview of you and your business. You might include information about your values, your vision, and your specific expertise or areas of focus. A longer bio can provide more detail and context about your business and give potential customers or clients a better understanding of who you are and what you do.

    In a longer bio, you may want to include information about your background and how you got started in your business, as well as any notable accomplishments or achievements. You can also highlight your unique approach and philosophy, and discuss the benefits of working with you. It's important to be authentic and genuine in your writing, and to use language that is engaging and easy to understand.

    Example: "My name is Sarah Johnson, and I'm the CEO of Johnson Enterprises. I've always been passionate about entrepreneurship, and I started my first business while I was still in college. Since then, I've built a successful career in the tech industry, working with companies of all sizes to develop innovative products and services. At Johnson Enterprises, we believe in the power of collaboration, and we work closely with our clients to create custom solutions that meet their unique needs. Our team is made up of experts in various fields, including software development, design, and project management, and we're always looking for new challenges and opportunities to grow."


    Tell a story: A longer bio can be several paragraphs and should tell a more complete story about your business. This is an opportunity to showcase your unique approach and personality, and to highlight the benefits of working with you.


    Regardless of the length, it's important to keep your business bio professional and focused, using clear, concise language. You want to make a good impression and give readers a sense of who you are and what you do, without overwhelming them with too much information.

    Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind:

    • Keep it professional: A business bio is not the place to share personal details or opinions.
    • Use active language: Rather than listing your accomplishments, use active language to describe what you do and how you help your clients.
    • Proofread: Make sure to proofread your bio for spelling and grammar errors.
    • Keep it up to date: Make sure to regularly update your business bio as your company grows and evolves.


  • 01/05/2022 12:00 PM | Jennifer Phillips (Administrator)

    "SMART" is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. It's a commonly used framework for setting goals that helps ensure that they are clear, actionable, and attainable. 

    Download:

    SMART Goals Worksheet

    SMART Goal Tracking

    How to write your S-M-A-R-T goal

    S – Specific

    When setting a goal, be specific about what you want to accomplish. Think about this as the mission statement for your goal. This shouldn’t be a detailed list of how you’re going to meet a goal, but it should try to answer most of the popular ‘w’ questions:

    • Who is involved to achieve the goal?
    • What are you trying to accomplish?
    • Which resources are needed, are there any related obstacles?
    • Why is this goal important?

    Use action words to be clear and specific about the goal. “S” actions may include:

    Update Write Coordinate Evaluate Develop
    Provide Manage Create Implement Plan

    Watch out for verbs like “improve,” “reduce,” or “increase”, e.g. “improve customer service” or “reduce cost.” These imply a broad direction, but are not specific actions that you will take to accomplish a change.

    M – Measurable

    What metrics are you going to use to determine if you meet the goal? You need to have a way to measure progress or determine whether a goal has been achieved.

    A measurable goal should address questions such as:

    • How much?

    • How many?

    • How will I know when the goal is accomplished?

    If it’s a project that’s going to take a few months to complete, then set some milestones by considering specific tasks to accomplish. Setting milestones to build a series of steps gives you a way to track progress toward completion of your main goal.

    A – Achievable

    A successful goal needs to be realistic and attainable, but it is a good idea to stretch your abilities. When you set an achievable goal, you may need to identify opportunities or resources that can help you develop the skills needed to accomplish the goal.

    R – Relevant

    Relevance refers to focusing on things that align with the other goals. Ask the following questions:

    • Does this seem worthwhile?

    • Is this the right time?

    • Does this match with other efforts/needs?

    T – Timely (or Time-Bound)

    Ask specific questions about the goal deadline and what can be accomplished within that time period. If the goal will take several months to complete, it’s useful to define what should be achieved half-way through the process. Providing time constraints also creates a sense of urgency.


  • 09/17/2021 11:00 AM | Jennifer Phillips (Administrator)

    What is copywriting?

    Copywriting is the act or occupation of writing text for the purpose of advertising or other forms of marketing. The product, called copy or sales copy, is written content that aims to increase brand awareness and ultimately persuade a person or group to take a particular action.

    Email copywriting is the process of sending a communication to your prospect with the intention of encouraging action. Not every email will use copywriting, but even small improvements in your writing can show results.

    Spending time to improve your copywriting skills will boost your ability to communicate better with your prospects and clients.  


    1. Keep your audience in mind

    Every aspect of your email should be crafted with the audience in mind.

    Are you writing directly to consumers or a business-to-business communication? to a specific individual or a generalized group?

    Consider how the writing style and format can support your message.

    Evaluate word choices and tone. Use relatable language to help you connect and build relationships with prospects. Avoid using industry jargon that might be confusing.  

    Use a Marketing Persona to picture and connect to your prospect. I believe that listing basic demographics is good (age, gender, educational level, income) but offers little insight into consumer motivation. I recommend digging deeper into psychographics. Behavior patterns, interests, motivations, and goals give you better ways to understand your audience.


    2. Tell a story

    Get personal. Don’t be afraid of emotion. Look for ways to make a connection with the reader.

    Write copy as if you were talking to a real person. Keep adding details to your Marketing Persona(s) and write for that ideal customer.

    Telling a true story gives you an opportunity to let your personality shine through and try to connect with your readers through a shared experience. It can be difficult to find a narrative that makes your reader feel something AND works to connect them to you or your company.

    Using anecdotes to describe potential problems lets you set the stage for your solutions.

    Testimonials are relatable stories. They increase credibility and help a potential customer picture the complete process.

    Don’t underestimate the importance of telling your story and what led you to create your product or service in the first place.


    3. Look at the structure

    People’s time is valuable. Make your content scannable, increases the likelihood it will get read.

    Break up longer blocks of text with sub-headings and using shorter paragraphs. Aim to stick to one idea or theme per section, usually 3 or 4 sentences.

    Highlight keywords or phrases. I recommend sticking with bold or italics. Stay away from all caps. Remember changes in font type or size look drastically different between the multitudes of devices that are used to read emails. What looks fine for some can quickly become unreadable for others.

    Using imagery such as photos, illustrations, or infographics can also serve to break up the visual space.


    4. Focus on Benefits

    Know your product.

    Making a list of your product features is easy, but it isn’t personal. Features are forgettable.

    Copywriting may include the features of whatever you’re writing about, but what you’ll really want to focus on are the benefits. Benefits tell the reader what’s in it for them. Benefits are personal and memorable.

    Benefits are how a product offers to satisfy needs, desires and wants. What do you hope your consumer gets, feels or achieves when they use your product? How can your product make their life better?

    Staying benefits-focused helps you make a personal connection.


    5. Include a call to action

    In most cases, the goal of an email is to encourage the reader to take a specific action. You want them to buy something, click somewhere, or call and make an appointment.

    The call to action (CTA) should be clear, specific, and straightforward. A strong CTA will:

    a. Clearly state what exactly what you want the reader to do.
    b. Provide details on what will happen after they take action.

    Be cautious of being pushy or aggressive. People want to feel in charge of the buying decision, not feel “sold to”.

    As writers, we want our audience to think, feel or act in a certain way after reading your message. Copywriting is aimed at sales. Sometimes your message focuses on less direct goals. Is there something you want your reader to learn, think differently about, or understand better? Blurring the line into content marketing; your call to action will probably not be as strong.

    Like other types of writing, copywriting is a skill that improves with practice. Keep these guides in mind when writing your business emails to improve your copy, connect with your audience, and grow your business.

    I hope these guidelines will improve your copywriting! Let me know which is your favorite or share a tip that you have found helpful.

  • 07/12/2021 9:00 AM | Jennifer Phillips (Administrator)

    Alignable is a small business referral network that encourages business owners to build relationships within their business communities, with a focus on increasing brand recognition and word-of-mouth referrals for their business. It is much like a social media platform for small business owners to network with each other.

    Alignable has been around since 2014, has 6 million registered businesses as members of the platform, is US-based and with more than 30,000 local communities. It leads with the business brand first but then shows the people behind the business. You can add a logo and a picture at the top like your storefront. It lets you add products or services you offer, events and pictures. Groups are formed around common interests and give members a place to interact, post articles, and ask questions. Alignable is similar to LinkedIn but designed for small businesses. Both have their unique opportunities for networking, but I’ve found Alignable to be a great option to connect with other sewing related businesses that feels a little less overwhelming.

    It is free to set up a profile, but Alignable does offer paid premium accounts if you find it works well for your business. One word of caution: Alignable, similar to many other platforms, will try to upsell you on the paid accounts and may seem overly aggressive with email frequency, so be sure to adjust your notification settings if you find you are getting more emails than you prefer.

    Interested in joining? Take a look at the profile for ASDP, read more about Alignable, and decide if you want to try it out.

    Visit ASDP on Alignable


    5 Steps to Getting Started With Alignable

    1. Set up your profile.

    Alignable strives to be conversational so there is a place for your logo and a headshot. The photo of you will appear when you comment, communicate, and answer questions in the Forum. Take the time to carefully describe your business and select the tags that best represent what you do and who you want to work with. Remember to fill out your products and services. This is a great opportunity to clearly define what you offer.

    Set up your profile before you connect to people or invite people to join you on Alignable. I would not just invite everyone in your email or LinkedIn list, but pick people that are open to trying new things or are already on Alignable that you know. Select people to join or connect with that are valuable to you. Their value comes from being a good business person that you feel has something positive to offer in their products and services and the way they do business.

    2. Learn the Platform

    Take a little time to learn how the system works. You can check in on your network, give and get recommendations, and participate in Groups by answering questions posed by the members.

    Alignable likes to keep in touch with you via email to encourage your participation but you may find that you’re getting tapped too often. Go in and adjust your email settings so that you are getting the notifications that are beneficial to you.

    3. Give Recommendations

    Look at your connections and identify the people that you know and would happily recommend to people for products or services. Your recommendation doesn’t need to be more than a couple of sentences, but it should tell why you think they are worth paying attention to and why someone would want to do business with them.

    What you are doing is paying it forward. You are bringing positive, and valuable, attention to your connections and contributing support into our business communities!

    4. Answer Questions

    Alignable will send you questions from people who are in your field. They may or may not be connections, but your connections will see your answers. By participating in the Forum and Groups you are sharing your expertise and keeping your name top of mind.

    You don’t have to answer every question Alignable sends you, but if you feel you have a positive and helpful answer, then go for it. We’re all in this together and there is likely a time when you’ll be interested in finding out a best practice from another professional. Understand that this is not the place to bait people to work with you or to sell your product. This is where you can ask or answer sincere questions about doing business better.

    5. Commit to It

    I understand that you’ve got your fingers in a lot of social media right now and you’re thinking that one more will put you on overload. If you want to give Alignable a good test, I suggest you make a plan: devoting about 10 minutes each work day (taking weekends off), find 3 businesses a week and write a thoughtful recommendation, etc.

    Just plug it into your calendar, set the timer, and see what happens when you start planting a local seed. You’ll most likely find that your network will expand and you’ll develop some great camaraderie within your community. And I hope your business will improve.


  • 05/09/2021 9:24 AM | megan avery

    If you want to start a fashion brand, chances are you want to make a small amount of products to begin with. But finding a factory who are willing to take on small orders can be tough. So what can you do instead? Find out in this video.....

    Register for my free Masterclass, 'How to Get Your Fashion Ideas Produced, Without Wasting Your Time and Money' here;

    https://thefashionbusinesscoach.com/freemasterclassinfo

  • 05/09/2021 9:17 AM | megan avery

    The Colorado chapter invited ASDP VP of Education Lalon Alexander, Ph.D., to its April meeting.  Lalon is VP of Education in addition to her duties as a University fashion professor and president-elect for the Costume Society of America.  Lalon talked about various forms of ASDP education, including Eye of the Needle, national conference, University of Fashion, and new programs being considered.

    Eye of the Needle is the name for new videos available to ASDP members on the national website under Resources.  This program started in January of this year (2021) and is funded by ASDP’s Charitable Foundation.  Videos by ASDP members lasting 15 minutes to over an hour include hints, techniques, and ideas for creativity.

    Lalon informed us that details about this year’s national conference will be available May 15, 2021, in the form of an online and e-blasted brochure.  Participants can attend one to several days and can attend Master Classes and/or core conference classes.  Master Classes this year include Bonnie Carmicino’s beginning couture techniques, Barbie McCormick’s men’s alterations, and Claire Shaeffer’s couture tailoring (based on her new book).  Claire will also offer a shorter version of her master class: Tailoring in a Thimble.  [More class titles can be found at Association of Sewing and Design Professionals - Conference Deposit (sewingprofessionals.com).]

    Fifty-seven ASDP members have preregistered for this year’s conference and they can register for classes starting July 1.  Members not preregistered can register for classes starting July 15 and non-members can register starting August 1.   Ideas for classes next year are now being solicited on the web site.  That conference will be held in mid-October 2022 in Baltimore.

    Lalon is looking at training for the MAS and MSDP certification programs, an apprenticeship program, and education for brick-and-mortar businesses.  Details about these programs are still being determined; members who already offer appropriate training are being identified and hopefully educational discounts can be offered to ASDP members.  In parallel to this, Lalon is looking at updating the ASDP Standards and Quality document and adding to the Pattern and Illustration Standards.

    When asked about University of Fashion, Lalon noted that ASDP members get about a 90% discount.  However, many members do not take full advantage of this program; only 35 of 65 paid UofF memberships activated their accounts last year.  Anyone who loses their activation code should contact Lalon.

    Lalon also asked for ideas for future education.  Ideas included upcycling garments, software for digitizing patterns, and copyrighting patterns.  Also desired were sources for US-made fabrics, sustainable fabrics, “dead stock”, and how to transfer stash fabrics among members.

    Anyone with additional ideas for ASDP education can contact Lalon at education@sewingprofessionals.com.


  • 02/10/2021 8:09 AM | megan avery

    Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton MA Seeks Textile-Based Craft Submissions for Upcoming Exhibition, Peacework 2020: Racial Justice Through Protest and Handwork

    Peacework 2020: Racial Justice Through Protest and Handwork will focus on textile-based craft objects created during the year’s social and racial justice movement.

    BROCKTON, Mass. (February 1, 2021) – In July 2020, the New York Times reported “Black Lives Matter May Be the Largest Protest Movement in U.S. History,” seven weeks after George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police officers on May 25, 2020. Ongoing protests for racial justice continued throughout the subsequent months in American communities, rocking a nation already reeling from the effects of a global pandemic. The marches and rallies spanned from urban neighborhoods to rural streets, as the contrasting chants of “Black Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter” widened a civic divide in the throes of an already deeply divisive U.S. Presidential election cycle.

    Art and creativity always prevail during such a tumultuous time.

    Fuller Craft Museum is producing the upcoming exhibition,

    Peacework 2020: Racial Justice Through Protest and Handwork, which will feature textile-based and craft work created during the social unrest of 2020. Artwork submissions deadline is March 1, 2021.

    Below are the eligibility requirements:
    Eligibility: Open to all artists, crafters, and makers throughout the U.S., of all experience levels, and of all demographic backgrounds. Open to all people working in the traditional fiber arts, including those working with yarn, embroidery, cross-stitch, quilting, felting, rug hooking, paper, basketry, and other fiber media. Hobbyists are encouraged to submit their work. Crafters of color, Black crafters, and those from self-identified marginalized backgrounds and communities are especially encouraged to submit their work.

    Selected works will fall under the Peacework 2020 theme explicitly (as expressed by the piece itself) or abstractly, through the artist’s statement, and may – through the applied technique and visual expression – connect with the following questions:

    • How are protests an example of people engaging in “peacework?”
    • What is the connection between craft practice and doing “peacework?”
    • What happens when protests turn violent?
    • How can handwork be used to amplify Black voices in the struggle for racial justice?
    • What purpose does craft activism serve as a response, or as a call to action, when bodily
    harm is enacted against Black bodies and personhood by tax-funded police agencies and
    officers?
    • What role do white crafters play as allies in the struggle for Black equity, equality and
    racial justice?
    • How do well-intentioned white crafters get in the way of racial progress or efforts at
    solidarity?

    Peacework 2020 is scheduled for October 9, 2021 – January 2, 2022, and will be curated by a jurying committee, including Guest Curator Hinda Mandell, Fuller Craft’s Artistic Director and Chief Curator Beth McLaughlin, fiber artist and educator Karen Hampton, and mathematician and quilter Chawne Kimber.

    Submission Requirements:

    Group and individual submissions are welcome, as are contributions from nonprofits, political organizations, religious institutions, crafting circles, community groups, and youth centers. Individual artists and groups may submit up to three works for consideration.

    Submission Format Requirements:

    • Image files: jpeg or tiff, 300 dpi minimum (one per work, details as necessary)
    • Image list: artist name, title of work, year of creation, media, dimensions, weight,
    installation requirements, with name, contact details on the top of the page
    • Maker’s statement about the submitted works (no more than 200 words) with name and
    contact details on the top of the page
    • Maker’s bio (no more than 200 words) with name, contact details on the top of the page
    Art requirements:
    • All submitted works must use textiles either exclusively or have a strong textile component, drawing upon the “social fabric” as a metaphor reflecting the way people weave themselves into their communities and political systems through their beliefs.
    • Work must be no larger than 60” high x 60” wide x 18” deep.
    • All works must come ready to hang and/or prepped for display, e.g. include a hanging
    sleeve, “D-rings,” or other hanging mechanism.
    • Due to the contemporary nature of this exhibit, only work created from spring 2020 (following the death of George Floyd and the subsequent Black Lives Matter marches) to the present day will be considered.
    • All works must fall under the Peacework 2020 theme.
    • Costs associated with delivery and return of artwork to be paid by artists.
    Please email all submission materials, as listed above, to Charlie Pratt, Curatorial Associate at Fuller Craft Museum (cpratt@fullercraft.org), and Guest Curator Hinda Mandell (hbmgpt@rit.edu) by March 1, 2021. Questions regarding the exhibition can be directed to Guest Curator Hinda Mandell. Questions about Fuller Craft Museum can be directed to Exhibition Manager Charlie Pratt 


  • 01/13/2021 6:06 AM | megan avery

    According to Etsy, 2021 will be about creating connections to each other, to ourselves, to nature. To read their full prediction, head over here.

    They predict people will be embracing “friluftsliv”, the Norweigan concept of getting outdoors – think of it as the new hygge.

    They also predict that prioritizing connections to small businesses around the world will be in the forefront. They foresee shoppers putting their money where their hearts are.

    From our color of the year to new everyday trends, Etsy is confident that shoppers will be finding ways to create connections, big and small, more than ever this year.

    Color of the Year Etsy Prediction: Sky blue
    Home & Living Etsy Prediction: Reimagining spaces
    Weddings Etsy Prediction: Anniversary receptions
    Style Etsy Predictions: At-home wear 2.0
    Kids Etsy Prediction: Outer space 

  • 01/01/2021 6:03 PM | megan avery

    How did women achieve a bell-shaped silhouette in the mid-19th century? By wearing many, many layers of undergarments!

    This video program was recorded on December 16, 2020 and featured Illinois State Museum Curator of History Erika Holst discussing Victorian undergarments and the proper order in which they were worn.

    Watch the video presentation here.

  • 01/01/2021 5:01 PM | megan avery

    Find your next fabric supplier from hundreds of international manufacturers offering a wide range of product category spectrum, from Cotton to Yarns.  

    Texworld New York City (formerly known as Texworld USA) is an international business platform to source fabric and materials for fashion. The largest sourcing event on the East Coast hosts global suppliers, fabric buyers, designers, and fashion professionals for 3 days of sourcing, learning and networking. 

    Winter 2021 Edition – now all digital!


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